You’ve seen Lorraine Bracco pour her considerable passion into hit roles on The Sopranos and Goodfellas. Now the actress is pouring a new passion: wine. With Bracco Wines, she selects and imports her favorite Italian bottles, and she’s in the process of expanding into production with her own vineyards. She answers IgoUgo’s questions about how her world travels as a model and actress shaped her appreciation of good food and wine—and tells us where to go for the best meals in Paris.
IgoUgo: What—and where—is a meal you’d cross an ocean to have again?
Lorraine Bracco: Harold Dieterle's menu from the Top Chef Season 1 finale in Las Vegas—his duo of Kobe beef was magnificent.
IgoUgo: What is your favorite food city?
Lorraine Bracco: Marrakesh. My favorite food comes from my friend Bernard's kitchen there.
IgoUgo: How much does place influence your enjoyment of a dish?
Lorraine Bracco: Doesn't matter much to me—I love a hole-in-the-wall as long as the food and the company are great.
IgoUgo: Having lived and worked in Paris, what are the stops you make whenever you go back for a visit?
Lorraine Bracco: My favorite restaurant in Paris is an Italian one! It's called Stresa and it's right near Avenue Montaigne. Another favorite is La Coupole and I also love the little Vietnamese places all over the city. But the most fantastic dinner I've ever been to was at the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles in France.
IgoUgo: How does your wine career fit with your acting career? Do they ever overlap, or does one help or hinder the other?
Lorraine Bracco: It does not fit and they don't really overlap, but when they sometimes do, I lose my mind!
IgoUgo: How have your travels and Italian origin influenced the choices you’ve made for Bracco Wines?
Lorraine Bracco: Living in France for 10 years introduced me to fantastic wines from different regions and absolutely helped develop my palate.
IgoUgo: What are your favorite wines, and where are they from?
Lorraine Bracco: I'm a big Bordeaux girl—I even named my daughter Margaux after the first Chateau Margaux I ever had. And of course, I love the Italian wines—the Brunello di Montalcino and Primitivo are two favorites.
IgoUgo: What’s next for Bracco Wines?
Lorraine Bracco: We've got a great Super Tuscan coming, as well as a fantastic Old Vine Primitivo, and expanded distribution in New York.
Photo courtesy of Sante D'Orazio